Dyche latest manager to thrive using 4-4-2 system

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Burnley have performed above all expectations this season and should finish comfortably clear of the relegation zone should they remain on their current trajectory.

Sean Dyche’s men have been a dominant force on home soil, boasting a superior record at home to both Manchester United and Manchester City.

The Clarets have needed to be strong at Turf Moor, given that they’ve failed to win a match on their travels this term.

However, despite their struggles on the road, they remain eight points clear of the relegation zone.

As a result, Burnley should, for the first time since the formation of the Premier League, be able to retain their top-flight status in the term following their promotion.

The Clarets are among the leading candidates of the teams in the bottom half of the table that would make an intriguing punt with free bet offers to avoid the drop due to the fact that it would be a huge achievement for the club due to the lack of resources available.

In their previous promotion under Sean Dyche, Burnley had almost nothing to spend to bolster their squad from the Championship.

As a result, the Clarets boss has employed a simple 4-4-2 system to get the best out of his players, making key additions down the spine of his side.

It's the same formation that Leicester and Claudio Ranieri used to great effect to win the Premier League last term and has provided flexibility and solidity for the Lancashire-based outfit in their bid for survival.

"Burnley remembers" (CC BY 2.0) by Ronnie Macdonald

Michael Keane proved to be an astute purchase from Manchester United as he has grown into one of the finest young defenders in the Premier League, making his England debut against Germany due to his impressive form this term.

George Boyd and Stephen Ward were added, and although the Clarets were relegated, they managed to keep the squad together, bar Danny Ings, who moved to Liverpool. The departure of the striker, however, was offset by the purchase of Andre Gray from Brentford.

After winning promotion last term, and with his defence and forward line set, Dyche turned his attention to the midfield, breaking the club’s transfer record twice in the summer to land Steven Defour and Jeff Hendrick before doing it once again in January to add Robbie Brady.

All of those signings have hit the mark, and, compared to the spend-happy sides around them in the table such as Swansea, Crystal Palace, Sunderland and even Leicester City, the results have been far superior for the Clarets.

That is in no small part to the excellent management of Dyche, who has been able to mould decent players into a solid unit. Keane has been the leader of the defensive unit alongside Ben Mee at the back, but the strength of Dyche’s skill has been shaping Ward and right-back Matthew Lowton into composed players, after both were discarded from Premier League outfits in the past.

In the middle of the park, Defour and Hendrick hit the ground running, while the return of Joey Barton has provided steel in the midfield.

The fact that Dyche has managed to get the best out of the controversial midfielder highlights the respect he commands over his side, with the drama on the field kept to a minimum.

With only three options to use up front, Dyche has managed to get the best out of rotating Sam Vokes and Ashley Barnes alongside Gray, with each of the support men notching five strikes apiece, while the former Brentford forward has found the net eight times.

The foundation of their success has been through graft on the pitch and not allowing the opposition room to breathe at Turf Moor.

Although their form on the road could have been a lot better, every Burnley fan before the start of the season would have surely accepted the club’s current position with nine matches remaining in the campaign.

As a result, Dyche should definitely be a strong contender to be named manager of the year – perhaps only rivalled by Antonio Conte at Chelsea.

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FM 2018 Blog - Football Manager 2018: Dyche latest manager to thrive using 4-4-2 system
Dyche latest manager to thrive using 4-4-2 system
Dyche latest manager to thrive using 4-4-2 system. As a result, Burnley should, for the first time since the formation of the Premier League, be able to retain their top-flight status in the term following their promotion.
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